BROCKWAY – When students at Brockway Area Junior-Senior High School return from Thanksgiving break, they will have fewer classmates in the chairs beside them.

The junior-senior high school will continue face-to-face, every day instruction until Wednesday, Nov. 25. When school resumes on Dec. 1, students in grades 7-12 will attend in person on an every-other-day basis. Brockway’s blended learning model has students whose last names begin with A-L, Team Rovers, learning in person while M-Z, Team Pride, is remote. The roles will switch the next day. High School Co-Principal Brian Mulhollan said that this is the best option based on the numbers.

“Based on the information we’re receiving from the state, and the recommendations we’re receiving from the Department of Health, it’s been determined we need to change our model for learning for our students,” he said. “We will go to a blended learning model due to the fact we’ve been in the substantial range for the last several weeks. This will best meet the needs of our students and our staff in the situation we’re in.”

In a letter to families in the district, Superintendent Jeff Vizza said that the Brockway community has 31 confirmed cases since March and four confirmed cases in the high school. Only one of those cases was active at the time of his message.

The plan is only for the high school to make the change. The elementary school will continue to function as normal. An email to elementary families confirmed that the school is staying open while the high school goes blended on Dec. 1.

Teachers will be using the time before Thanksgiving to prepare students for the switch and to establish expectations for the use of Google Classroom. The district is also working with families to make sure that all technological needs are met before the plan is in place.

“Our hope is that after we have the opportunity to separate for a while and come back after Christmas break, and if we follow all the measures set forth by the Department of Health, we will be in-person every day like we were before,” Mulhollan said.

More information about the school’s COVID-19 plans can be found at the school district’s website.

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